Ordinary People Extraordinary Wealth

date Aug 30, 2007
authors Ric Edelman
reading time 4 mins
  • Book Title: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth: 8 secrets of how Ordinary Americans became successful investors and you can be to!
  • Author: Ric Edelman
  • Year written/published: 2001
  • My Comments: Great book! I especially liked the sections where people shared their experiences – the Biggest Mistake, Smartest thing I did… we learn from others’ experiences! Some common mistakes… I couldn’t help but see sooo many actually pointed out not starting to invest and save in funds and stocks early in their 20s! And some common smartest things were – marriage to a financial-savvy woman and going to a financial/professional advisor.
  • Some extracts:

There a lot to choose from:

  • Cash equivalents: Savings accounts, Checking accounts, Money Markets, Certificates of Deposit, US Treasury Bills and EE Savings Bonds
  • Bonds: US Government and Agency Securities, Municipal Bonds, High Quality Corporate Bonds, High-Yield (junk) Bonds)
  • Stocks: Large Cap Vs Small Cap, Growth vs. Value, Specific industry sectors
  • Real Estate: Residential, Commercial, Speculative
  • International Securities: Stocks vs. Bonds, Global vs. Continental vs. National Specific
  • Precious Metals: Gold, Silver, Platinum
  • Natural Resources: Minerals, Oil, Gas
  • Commodities: Options, Futures
  • Collectibles: Stamps, Coins, Gemstones, Artwork

Mutual Fund vs Stocks…

Will mutual funds make as much money as the top stocks? Of course not. By definition, they can’t – for the simple reasons that each mutual fund owns a dozen, even hundreds of stocks. And this extensive diversification effectively prevents mutual funds from earning as much money as one given stock might earn. But, of course, this very trait insures that no mutual fund will ever lose as much as the worst stock either. SO although you might not earn the most, you won’t lose either.

The best time to invest is when…

  1.  you have money to invest
  2. you plan to invest that money for a long time
  3. prices are low

Buying your own company’s stock…

Don’t do it – regardless of how successful your company is or how successful you expect it to be. … … The reason being…. If you own only one stock, and if that one stock plummets in value, the results could be devastating to you. Even more so if the stock happens to be of the company you work for. A crashing stock price means the company is in financial trouble. Under those circumstances, the company may take radical steps to save money. Quickest way is to cut the staff. In other words, a declining price in your company stock could cause you to lose your job. And if that happened, you’d need to start selling investments to help pay your bills. But you could find that the biggest investment you own is – guess what? – company stock!

Real rich…

The reason rich people get richer and poor people get poorer is that rich people continue to do things that got them rich in the first place, while poor people continue to do the things that got them poor. So, let’s try to find out how rich people got that way. People don’t say inheritances. That might be how rich people stay rich, but that’s not how they for that way. GO back far enough in the family histories of wealthy Americans and you’ll discover that none of them started out wealthy. They were all poor – as poor as today’s poor. Actually, let me restate that. While today’s wealthy Americans were once broke, I don’t think they were really poor. Poor is a state of mind. Broke is the state of wallet. You can fix being broke; it’s not easy to fix being poor.

Our survey of successful Americans show that:

  1.  They began investing when they were young. The average age when they made their first investment was 24; 10% of them started before they were 18
  2. they invested small amounts of money. Their initial investment averaged just $658
  3. They invested often. A whopping 92% saved regularly throughout their lives, adding to their savings whenever they could.
  4. they invested intelligently. Most 81% set money aside into a special account earmarked for savings. They’d accumulate a few hundred, and then invest it.

Psychology of risk…

Some common traits..

  1. the less money you have, the more checking and savings account you have
  2. the less money you have, the more time you spend paying your bills
  3. the less money you have, the more you micromanage it
  4. the less money you have, the more you act like you have a lot of it

Budgeting vs. tracking expenses…

On the other hand, there’s widespread agreement that tracking expenses is worthwhile, because 76% of my clients say they do it. This is an important distinction because there’s a big difference between budgeting and tracking expenses. The former s a promise of how you will spend money; the latter reflects how you actually do spend it. And while budgeters foten spend more than they has earlier promised themselves – creating such problem as falling in debt, trackers keep themselves, well on track towards their goals.